I got on facebook this evening and saw a post by a fellow Special Needs Parent. She was at her local Wal-Mart and snapped this photo.
If you look closely you will see this is a photo of the off color humored tshirts at Wal-Mart. Right in the middle is a Special Olympics tshirt. My friend, and myself took offence. I quickly reposted to facebook and posted a tweet to Special Olympics and Wal-Mart asking for comment.
I have not heard back from either Special Olympics or Wal-Mart but have heard from a number of people. A number of people are taking offence to the placement but a number do not see the issue. A common theme with the “non-issue” side of the fence is that Wal-Mart is a huge supporter of Special Olympics and Special Olympics must be allowing their logo to be used.
Wal-Mart is a huge supporter of Special Olympics, and Special Olympics probably did allow usage of their logo, but my argument is about context. Special Olympics is about support and acceptance of individuals with Special Needs. By placing a Special Olympics tshirt next to a tshirt that reads “Your Face – 3 Million Dislikes” the context is NOT one of support and acceptance.
However Wal-Mart can fix this, and rather easy. The easy way out would be to remove the shirt. I would go one step further. I would take the shirts, put them on and endcap or rack with a sign that says something like “By purchasing a Special Olympics tshirt you are supporting the activities of Special Olympics”.
Walmart or Special Olympics if you have a comment please feel free to leave a comment or email me at josh at ourfamilyof4.com
I just got this email from an official Walmart rep.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. My name is Dianna Gee and I work with Walmart Media Relations.
The placement of the Special Olympics t-shirts was not intended to offend anyone, but we understand how this might have been perceived as insensitive. That’s why we are working with our store managers to move the t-shirts to another area.
As you mentioned in your post, Walmart is committed to supporting the Special Olympics. In fact, the t-shirt is officially licensed by the Special Olympics and a portion of each sale goes directly to the Special Olympics.